NBA fines Dwight Howard for blog comments about officiating

NBA fines Dwight Howard

Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard has been fined $35,000 for public criticism of the officiating that appeared on his personal blog, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

Howard’s comments appeared on his blog on April 27.

On his blog, Howard wrote: “Ya’ll know that that series against Charlotte drove me crazy. I mean it was almost comical at times how I was getting fouls called on me. There was nothing I could do our there and I felt like I couldn’t even move without getting that whistle blown on me. I’m not looking to say anything to get myself in trouble with the league, but I just don’t see other star players getting called for fouls the way I get them. No star player in the league is outta games the way I am. I even talked to Pat Ewing about his career and he said he never had foul trouble like what I’m going through.”

LeBron James bothered by elbow injury

The AP reports:

LeBron James bothered by elbow injury

LeBron James’ puzzling elbow injury will get an extra day of rest before the next round of the NBA playoffs after the Cavaliers decided not to practice Wednesday.

James has been bothered by numbness in his right elbow for several weeks. He lost feeling after banging it late in Tuesday night’s clinching win over the Chicago Bulls. reports:

There hasn’t been any word that LeBron could miss any games, and for now it is assumed he won’t, but more may be known today or tomorrow.

The second round Cavs-Celtics NBA playoffs series starts Saturday.

Ben Gordon has ankle surgery

Ben Gordon has ankle surgery

The Detroit Pistons announced today that guard Ben Gordon underwent a successful surgical procedure performed by Dr. Art Manoli to remove bone spurs and loose bodies from his left ankle. The procedure was performed at St. Joseph’s Mercy Hospital in Pontiac, MI.

Gordon’s left ankle will be placed in a cast for three weeks and rehabilitation will begin immediately following removal of the cast.  He is expected to make a full recovery prior to the start of training camp in October.

The 6-foot-3 guard appeared in 62 games (17 starts) for the Pistons last season averaging 13.8 points, 2.7 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 27.9 minutes per game.

Iowa State hires Fred Hoiberg as coach

The AP reports:

Iowa State hires Fred Hoiberg as coach

Iowa State has brought back “The Mayor” for a second term in Ames, and the Cyclones are hoping former Indiana Pacer Fred Hoiberg still has the magic touch he displayed so often as a sharp-shooting star at Hilton Coliseum.

Iowa State confirmed the swift and surprising hiring of Hoiberg late Tuesday night after finalizing negotiations with the former Cyclones star.

Hoiberg, known as “The Mayor” during his playing career, replaces Greg McDermott, who left Iowa State after four seasons to take over as coach at Creighton.

LeBron James would love to own NBA team

The AP reports:

LeBron James would love to own NBA team someday

LeBron James, whose path to superstardom has followed a similar trajectory as Jordan’s, said Tuesday night before the Cavaliers faced the Chicago Bulls in Game 5 of the playoffs that he would “love” to own an NBA team someday. Jordan assumed ownership of the Charlotte Bobcats in March, buying the club for $275 million from Bob Johnson.

“I would love to be in that position,” James said. “It’s a great position to be able to own a team and be able to put pieces together and make decisions.” says:

Well, if any current player should have the money to own most or all of an NBA team by the time his playing days are over, it’s LeBron.

Andrei Kirilenko hopes to return soon

Ross Siler of the Salt Lake Tribune reports:

Andrei Kirilenko hopes to return soon

Whether it’s in one of the final games of the Jazz’s series against the Nuggets or in the Western Conference semifinals should the Jazz advance, Andrei Kirilenko sounded increasingly encouraged Tuesday about returning to action in these playoffs.

Kirilenko resumed court work Monday with sliding, jumping and shooting on the move and reported “no pain at all, which I was excited about” with his strained left calf.

“I wanted to go more,” said Kirilenko, who decided it was best not to push things. “Before when I get back, I felt like (the calf) gets tired very quick, like a little stiff,” he said. “Like right now I don’t feel any stiffness, no soreness, just tiredness. But I know it’s tiredness from the work.”

LeBron says Bulls were well-coached

Jim O’Donnell of the Chicago Sun-Times reports:

LeBron says Bulls were well-coached

For LeBron James — who just missed a triple-double with 19 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists despite a troublesome elbow — the question was tweaked.

”After the five games,” James was asked, ”did you think the Bulls were particularly well-coached, poorly coached or just in between?”

”I think they were well-coached,” James said. ”Vinny and his staff had that group ready. They have a group of young talent that can really play the game of basketball, and they played hard. There was not one point where they were laying down.

”In Game 4, we just got our stuff going and made stops, but they didn’t lay down. I’m not trying to make a pitch for Vinny because I know what’s going on — is Vinny in or is Vinny out? That’s not my job. But they played hard.”

Game 5: Lakers rout Thunder

The AP reports:

Lakers rout Thunder

Pau Gasol had 25 points and 11 rebounds, Andrew Bynum added 21 points and the Los Angeles Lakers vigorously rebounded from back-to-back losses with a 111-87 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night, taking a 3-2 lead in their first-round playoff series.

Kobe Bryant had 13 points and seven assists in three quarters of work as the defending NBA champions coolly shook off the eighth-seeded Thunder’s series-tying blowout win in Game 4 with a comprehensive thrashing of the postseason newcomers.

With their offense purring and their defense throttling Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the Lakers led by 21 points at halftime and went ahead by 32 late in the third quarter of their third home victory in the series…

Durant scored 17 points and Westbrook had 15 on combined 9-for-27 shooting for Oklahoma City, which never recovered after missing its first 13 shots…

Fans included Leonardo DiCaprio and Bar Rafaeli, Will Ferrell, Joel McHale, Sylvester Stallone, Eddie Murphy, Dustin Hoffman, Barry Bonds, singer Seal, David Arquette and UCLA coach Ben Howland, while Hugh Hefner watched from a luxury box.

Game 5: Butler 35, Mavs beat Spurs

The AP reports:

Butler, Haywood help Mavs beat Spurs

Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood gave the Dallas Mavericks the energy, toughness and scoring they needed—in other words, everything the Mavs expected when they traded for them a few months ago.

Butler scored a career playoff-best 35 points and had 11 rebounds, and Haywood provided a strong inside presence at both ends in his first start of this postseason, keeping the Mavericks alive by leading them to a 103-81 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night in Game 5 of their first-round series.

The Spurs were outplayed most of the first half, but trailed by only seven at halftime. Dallas didn’t let them hang around much longer…

Butler’s performance turned Dirk Nowitzki into a sidekick. He had 15 points and nine rebounds. Jason Terry had 12 points, while Marion and Kidd each scored 10. Kidd also had seven assists and seven rebounds.

Tony Parker led San Antonio with 18 points. Half of them came during an 11-2 run at the end of the second quarter that gave the Spurs hope of pulling off another throttling third quarter, like they did to win Game 4.

Duncan scored 11 in 24 minutes and Manu Ginobili scored seven in 19 minutes.